Based on the Corps model used successfully throughout the US for more than 75 years to address critical environmental and infrastructure needs, CREC has been providing youth and young adult workforce development opportunities and natural and cultural resource conservation services in collaboration with a wide variety of community partners since 1997.
Originally established as a cooperative partnership between the US Forest Service and Coconino County, CREC has been under the direction of Coconino County's Community Services Department since 1999. Initially funded by an AmeriCorps award in the amount of $160,000, CREC has evolved into a career development stepladder of largely self-sustaining, partner supported programs with an estimated fiscal year 2011 budget of $3.2 million.
What CREC Does:
CREC serves youth, aged 15 to 18 and young adults, aged 18 to 25, who are interested in environmental, resource conservation and land management related careers. Through direct, hands-on service, CREC Corpsmembers implement projects for virtually all of Arizona's public land managers and conservation agencies. Each CREC Corpsmember receives extensive work-skills training and conservation education in addition to service learning and AmeriCorps Education Awards that directly benefit their future pursuits in environmental fields.
Project work helps to protect rural communities throughout Arizona from the threat of wildfire; increases habitat for, and the populations of a variety of wildlife species; and provides greater, less damaging recreational opportunities for Arizona's citizens and visitors. In addition, CREC members provide energy conservation services for community residents and work to mobilize volunteers around days of National Service.
We partner on short- and long-term projects and help develop large-scale, ongoing projects. Crews are also scalable and can be sized and trained for special projects to meet the needs of our partners.
Types of CREC Projects:
- Trail construction and maintenance
- Forest restoration for wildfire fuels reduction and forest health
- Construction and maintenance of fences and other outdoor facilities
- Restoration of native plant and wildlife habitat
- Eradication of invasive and exotic plant species
- Maintenance of public parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas
- Restoration and rehabilitation of burned areas
- Organization and leadership of community volunteer projects
- Residential energy efficiency retrofits and home weatherization